Anaerobic coffee processing is a relatively new method that has gained popularity among specialty coffee producers in recent years. The process involves fermenting coffee beans in an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment, which can lead to unique and complex flavor profiles in the final cup.
In anaerobic processing, coffee cherries are picked and sorted, then placed in sealed containers with little to no oxygen. The containers may be filled with water or left dry, and may also contain added sugars, yeasts, or other microorganisms that can affect the fermentation process. Over a period of several days to a few weeks, the bacteria and yeast present in the environment consume the sugars in the cherries and release acids and other compounds that can alter the flavor of the coffee.
The specific flavors that result from anaerobic processing can vary widely depending on the specific methods and ingredients used. Some coffees may have fruity or floral notes, while others may be more savory or earthy. Anaerobic processing can also result in a heavier body and lower acidity than other processing methods.
Anaerobic processing is generally considered a more experimental and risky method than traditional processing methods like washed or natural processing. If not done properly, anaerobic fermentation can result in spoilage or off flavors in the coffee. However, when done correctly, it can result in unique and highly sought-after specialty coffees that are prized by coffee lovers and specialty coffee roasters around the world.
If you would like to try some amazing coffee that utilizes this process give this interesting coffee from Carlos Luis and Lica Torres.